The Horned Frogs will open the 2010 football season on Saturday with two firsts: the team will wear the recently unveiled Nike Pro Combat uniforms and will play in Cowboys Stadium for the first time.
Nike selected 10 universities to be part of the Nike Pro Combat System of Dress. TCU was one of five teams that also wore Pro Combat uniforms last season.
Matt Lewis, athletic equipment manager, presented the Horned Frogs’ Nike uniforms at the unveiling event in New York City Wednesday.
“Last year, TCU shook up college football by having an undefeated season and by wearing some of the most memorable uniforms the college world has ever seen,” Lewis said.
Inspiration for the uniform came from TCU’s all-time winningest football coach Leo R. “Dutch” Meyer, who was famous for saying the Horned Frog motto, “Fight ’em till hell freezes over, then fight ’em on the ice.”
“This year’s uniform is designed to look like we are indeed fighting them on the ice,” Lewis said.
An abbreviated version of the quote appears inside the back of the jersey and on the inner cuff of the gloves, he said. The lizard-skin pattern is used throughout the uniform design, and TCU is printed on the back waistband, the right side of the helmet and is spelled out on the gloves when the palms face outward.
The helmet has two red lines down the center that represent the blood that shoots from a horned frog’s eyes when under attack. Lewis said the lines also symbolized the brotherhood that unites the team.
The new Horned Frog uniforms impressed ESPN announcer Chris Fowler.
“The bar was pretty high because last year (the) TCU uniforms that they unveiled on GameDay when I was there against Utah had the biggest wow factor,” Fowler said.
Fashion plays a key role in the football world. Fowler said that recruits sometimes factor the design of the uniform into their decision when choosing a school.
Even Jerard Rabb, the Boise State University wide receiver who helped lead the Broncos to victory in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, said he liked the significance of TCU’s new uniform design.
“I like how the helmet has red stripes that (show) how the horned frogs spit blood out of their eyes,” Rabb said.
Athletics Director Chris Del Conte said the student athletes had an overwhelmingly positive response when they saw the new Pro Combat Nike uniforms.
“I think this speaks volumes of Gary Patterson and our football programs,” Del Conte said. “It speaks volumes of TCU as a whole, and that tells you how well the uniform was embraced around the country.”